Cataract Surgery

Everyone gets cataracts that decrease our vision. It is part of being human. Cataracts, like wrinkles, are part of life. We all get them and they only get worse with time. Cataracts are especially common in people over 60 years old. While the majority of cases are related to advancing age, cataracts can be present from birth or an early age due to congenital reasons. They can also occur following trauma to the eye/s or because of other health conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension. Prevent Blindness America states that cataracts are prevalent in over 24.4 million US citizens over the age of 40. The condition is caused by gradual clouding of the natural lens of the eye, so inhibiting clear vision. According to the World Health Organization, cataracts in one or both eyes is the leading cause of blindness around the world. Thankfully, careful monitoring and, when necessary, intervention, can virtually eliminate visual loss or impairment caused by the formation of cataracts. This is done through strategic cataract surgery that removes the diseased lens from the eye and replaces it with an artificial one, known as an intraocular lens (IOL). There are many different types of artificial lenses available. The most appropriate will be determined through an in-depth discussion of your condition and your lifestyle needs with your chosen cataract surgeon. Cataract eye surgery is commonly carried out, with over a million successful procedures per year.

Before Cataracts Treatment

Your vision can be blurred, and slightly less colorful. This visual and severity can be slightly different for each individual.

After Cataracts Treatment

After your eyes have healed from treatment, your clarity in vision will increase dramatically, as well as your ability to see true color and vibrancy.

How Do I Know if I Need Cataract Surgery?


In most cases, cataracts form slowly over many years. However, some medical conditions (such as diabetes and hypertension) can cause them to evolve more quickly. They can occur in one or both eyes and don’t cause pain or any outwardly noticeable symptoms, such as redness. Because the formation is so gradual they’re routinely first discovered through a regular eye examination.

As the condition progresses some of the common symptoms that might become noticeable include:

  • Cloudy vision
  • Dim or blurred vision
  • A reduction in the quality of nighttime vision
  • Increasing sensitivity to light or glare
  • Seeing ‘halos’ around a light source
  • Colors appearing faded or yellowed
  • The need for brighter light when reading and carrying out other close up activities
  • More frequent changes for glasses or contact lens prescriptions

What Happens During Cataract Surgery?


Most cataract surgery procedures take around 30-45 minutes to carry out and are done under local anesthetic. This means you’re not put to sleep and can return home the same day.

Your ophthalmologist will make a tiny cut in your eye (using a laser), remove the clouded lens, and replace it with an artificial one. If both eyes have cataracts that need treating then these will be done in separate procedures around 6 – 12 weeks apart. This allows sufficient time for each eye to heal and restore vision.

What Makes Brent Bellotte MD. the Best Clinician for Cataract Surgery Near Me?


Brent Bellotte MD. is one of the country’s leading ophthalmologists who specializes in cataract surgery. He set up the West Boca Eye Center to ensure that patients could take advantage of a single location for all their eye health needs. Boasting the latest in cutting-edge diagnostic equipment and surgical facilities, this world-beating clinic provides the ultimate in advanced cataract procedures and state-of-the-art care.

The expertise of Dr. Bellotte is known around the world. Florida residents have long-flocked to avail themselves of the prowess of this globally-renowned cataract surgeon. Boca Raton residents and those who travel to see him rest safe in the knowledge that their cataract treatment is in the capable hands of one of the highest regarded experts on the planet. 

One of the most important factors of selecting the best cataract professional to carry out your treatment is to feel at ease. While it might be true that cataract eye surgery is commonly carried out, for you, it’s going to be a once (or twice) in a lifetime procedure. Brent Bellotte and the whole clinical team at the West Boca Eye Center are well aware of this and pride themselves that every patient is treated with the same care and attention one expects for a member of their own family. This means that while there may be closer options, that of solely searching for cataract surgeons near me will dramatically reduce your options for the ultimate in advanced care.

There’s a very good reason why so many patients travel to have their cataract surgery in Boca Raton—and that’s purely down to the outstanding care and advanced procedures carried out by Brent Bellotte MD.

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What Is A Cataract?

A cataract is when the natural lens in one’s eye becomes cloudy, causing blurred vision. Objects often look hazy, blurry, or less colorful with a cataract.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

Symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Clouded, blurred or dim vision.
  • Increasing difficulty with vision at night.
  • Sensitivity to light and glare.
  • Need for brighter light for reading and other activities.
  • Seeing “halos” around lights.
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription.
  • Fading or yellowing of colors.

How are cataracts treated?

Cataracts can only be removed via surgery, but in some cases, eye glasses can help correct the symptoms of a cataract.

What causes cataracts?

Cataracts usually form as part of the natural aging process. This causes changes to occur within the tissue that makes up the lens of the eye. Sometimes this can also be genetic or can happen after an injury to the eye/s.

The lens of the eye is made up of water and protein. Naturally healthy lenses have protein that’s set out in a very precise manner, so allowing light to pass through unobstructed. As we age this protein might begin to clump together. This is what causes the lens to cloud.

While it’s not 100% determined exactly why cataracts form, it’s believed that the following are associated with cataract development: 

  • Advancing age
  • UV radiation
  • Health conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension
  • Family history
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Previous eye injury, surgery, or, inflammation
  • Statins (medication used to reduce cholesterol)
  • Long-term corticosteroid medication
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • High myopia (short-sightedness)

Does Medicare cover cataract surgery?

Yes, Medicare does cover the majority of the costs of cataract surgery as long as it’s deemed medically necessary. This includes the option of more advanced laser procedures. Many of the best cataract surgeons accept a Medicare plan for payment—the insurance generally covers 80% of the costs related to the procedure. 

Traditional Medicare policies allow for the cost of intraocular lenses. However, some of the most advanced multifocal lenses might not be included in the cover. You’ll need to refer to your policy for details. While Medicare doesn’t generally cover the cost of eyeglasses, in the cases of cataract surgery advised by your ophthalmologist, it’s often the case that one pair of eyeglasses will be included in the plan. 

What do cataracts look like?

For the person who has cataracts, how they view the world will be impacted as cataracts gradually evolve. One of the most common features is a gradual clouding of your vision, a little like looking through a steamed-up or frosted window. Other noticeable effects might be seeing a halo around lights, colors appearing less vibrant, and a general blurring of how you view the world.

If cataracts are left untreated they can become apparent when looked at in a mirror or by others. As they progress they can be seen as a cloudy white mass over the iris and pupil of the eye.

How long does cataract surgery take?

The best cataract surgeons take around 10 minutes to carry out the procedure. When you include the pre and post-surgery necessities, along with the administration of local anesthetic, the complete process generally takes around 30-45 minutes.

 

What to expect after cataract surgery?

After having a cataract procedure your surgeon will require you to remain for a short period to observe you. A shield will be placed over your eye, and this will normally remain in place for around 24 hours. Within a few hours the numbing effects of the medication you’ll have been given will begin to wear off. It’s usual for your vision to begin to improve within a few days.

Other normal post-procedure effects are: 

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Bloodshot or red eye
  • Watering
  • A feeling of grittiness

 The healing process takes around 6 weeks, but most people begin to experience an easing of these side effects within a few days.

Can cataracts come back?

No, cataracts can’t return. This is because cataract surgery completely removes the affected lens and replaces it with an artificial one. 

However, there is a risk of what’s known as posterior capsular opacification (PCO). This is where some of the cells that made up the natural lens remain inside the capsule of the eye. If this happens there’s a risk that they migrate to the base and clump together, creating a secondary cataract.

Historically, the chance of this occurring post-surgery was around 30%. However, with the major advances in the lenses and the surgical processes we benefit from today the risk is as low as 4%. Additionally, the best cataract surgeons will determine any necessary steps to take that will further reduce the likelihood of this happening.

How long does it take to recover from cataract surgery?

Full recovery from cataract surgery takes between 4 – 6 weeks. However, many people experience a dramatic improvement in vision in as little as a few days. The common side effects of grittiness, watering eyes, redness, visual disturbances (blurring and/or double vision) gradually reduce in the days following the procedure. 

Is cataract surgery painful?

No, cataract surgery isn’t painful. The procedure is usually carried out under local anesthetic, meaning you’re awake but have little or no discomfort. Although you’re not put to sleep (a general anesthetic), you’ll likely be given a light sedative beforehand. For many people, this means they don’t remember much about the operation.

How to prevent cataracts

While there are no definitive methods by which you can prevent the formation of cataracts, many leading eye doctors (including Brent Bellotte MD, globally-renowned clinician providing cutting-edge cataract surgery, Boca Raton) advocate the following strategies: 

  • Ensure you have regular eye exams: This is by far the most proactive step you can take to reduce the chances of visual impairment due to unknown or untreated cataracts. One of the strategic tests your ophthalmologist carries out during check-ups is to determine the formation or progression of cataracts. They will also assess your risk factors and provide any necessary advice.
  • Wear good quality UV eye protection: Wearing sunglasses outside is good practice. Be sure that the lenses protect your eyes from UVB rays.
  • Give up smoking: Not only is this believed to reduce the risk factor for cataracts, but it also has wide-reaching positive effects on the whole health of your body.
  • Reduce alcohol intake: Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk factor for developing cataracts.
  • Correctly manage any other health problems: Medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, all have a direct impact on cataract formation. Be sure to manage these as per your doctor’s advice.

Eat a healthy diet: This should include plenty of fruit and vegetables. The best benefits are achieved when you consume a wide variety of colors—this ensures that you’re providing your body with the essential vitamins and minerals it needs for good health. Fruit and veg also contain large amounts of antioxidants that play a big part in maintaining the health of your eyes.

How long after cataract surgery is vision blurry?

Vision is generally blurry for at least a few days after cataract surgery, but it can take up to 6 weeks before it settles back to normal.